Saturday, May 9, 2009

Movie Review: Twice Upon A Time

Twice Upon a Time
3 Slimes
Copyright Warner Bros. 1983


Ralph, the All-Purpose Animal: Lorenzo Music! He can turn into any animal at any time, which can have him end up looking like a Dr. Seuss character. He’s a bit too trusting and melodramatic.

Mum: He only speaks in sound effects and he seems a bit lazy. I also think he is a better judge of character than Ralph.

Greensleeves: He is the guy in charge of making people have good and happy dreams. He is kidnapped by Botch.

Synonamess Botch: He has typical villain’s mustache and is the guy in charge of the nightmares. He tries to fill the entire world with nightmares, but ends up being defeated and carried off by his vultures.

Rod Rescueman: He is a random weirdo who is trying to become a superhero, but he is still stuck with a learner’s permit. He is dumb as a brick.

Flora Fauna: Her voice is horrible and annoying! She wants to be an actress and she is way too dim. Her uncle is Greensleeves.

The Fairy Godmother: She is everybody’s Fairy Godmother and she works out of an office inside of a pink trailer.

Scuzzbooper: A jester who is the Murkworks Head Scream Writer for nightmares and he is also writing a novel. He joins the heroes in the end.

Ibor: A video gorilla… whatever that means. He just provides video footage of what Ralph and Mum are doing and showing clips that express his feelings. He blows up when Flora pulls apart his wiring.

Ratatooie: According to the movie, he or she is Botch’s Sweetikins. Ok… He is part armadillo, part rat, and it multicolored. He ends up falling up a window in the end.

+ Dreams come from Frivoli and nightmares come from Murkworks.
+ In desperate times, any hero will due no matter who it is.
+ Dreams are made from shooting stars.
+ Nightmares are delivered to people by dropping bombs on them.
+ Evil villains have lava lamp collections.
+ Nightmares are made in movie studios.
+ Fairy Godmothers have their own telephone numbers.
+ Superheroes first start off by having a learner’s permit.

3 min – I think they are just making things up as they go.
9 min – Watch out! A vulture is dropping a nightmare bomb… I just realized that sounded strange.
21 min – Heh, a rocket power bird car.
24 min – I’m sorry, my mind went somewhere for a bit.
29 min – Sure this isn’t the Twilight Zone?
43 min – You fool!!!
51 min – Disturbing and how big of an idiot are you?!
58 min – Cool! Screen shot of Them!

Automated feminine voicetrack: Welcome to the Garbagerie. Please follow the happy feet.

Flora: Uncle Greenie, where are you?
Greensleeves: Under the door, ya twit!
Rod Rescueman: That's a pretty stupid place to be when people are knocking doors down!

Fairy Godmother: Call me F.G.M. I hate excess verbiage.


There are rare movies that are hard to come by, like Cool World, there are unknown films like Titanic: The Legend Goes on, and there are underappreciated gems like Dick Tracy. This movie is all of those things. Twice Upon a Time is one of the hardest to come by movies out there and it you have yourself a copy, it’s like you won the lottery. Copies of the VHS tape can go up to 100 dollars on EBay and the only way to get it on DVD is getting a bootleg. The only reason I’m able to review this movie is by watching it on YouTube. Sure, the quality isn’t that special, but at least people can see the movie. So I’ll now dive into the little rarity. One last thing, I’m reviewing the uncut version of the film, so there well possibly be differences between this one and the cleaned up one.

The movie opens with a story book narration. We learn that two different factions exist that give Rushers (People like us) dreams and nightmares. Murkworks give people nightmares and Frivoli give people sweet dreams. The leader of the nightmares wants Rushers to have nonstop nightmares, but to do that, he needs the Cosmic Clock, which appears to be a regular old clock. We then meet all of the characters in a montage. Why? I guess they didn’t have enough time to properly introduce them into the story.

We then cut to the headquarters of the Murkworks, where their leader Synonamess Botch gives his vulture minions a speech before they go out to deliver nightmares to everyone. I got to say, that speech he gives is pretty funny. We cut to the city of Din next where we find Greensleeves sending out his purple buddies to deliver happy dreams. They work out of a post office. Well I can’t say they don’t interesting work offices.

However, the happy purple guys are being kidnapped by the vultures and taken back to their headquarters. Botch is enjoying this and demands that they get Greensleeves now. They do, but not before he sends a SOS for help. The letter reaches the land of Frivoli, where everyone is taking happy pills. Flora Fauna, a resident of the area, takes the letter to some guy who is in charge of the area. Since he can’t read or write back, he simply throws the letter away without letting Flora see it.

We then meet Ralph and Mum who are doing… something. What is it you may ask? Just go with something, because it isn’t really clear. Anyways, they seem to mess up whatever they are doing so they end up on garbage duty. During their work, they run into Flora who finds the letter from Greensleeves. She learns of the trouble going on in Din and Ralph and Mum volunteer to go there to see what is happening.

Botch catches wind of this and decides to go meet the three of them. He invites them back to his castle, which they stupidly agree to. He then shows them a slideshow about the Rushers and their world. He then shows them a picture of the Cosmic Clock and asks them to remove the Magic Mainspring, because it is the right thing to do for that world and it will somehow save Greensleeves. I wouldn’t trust the guy, but apparently Ralph and Mum do.

In the Rusher’s world, they come to the place where the clock and enter it. Once inside, I come to the realization that clocks are very elaborate and confusing. This clock can speed up, slow down, or when broken it can pause time. Anyways, the world freezing in time and they find the magical mainspring, but it escapes them. Botch sends his vultures to retrieve it and take out the two of them.

They get away in time, but they are confronted by the Fairy Godmother who tells them they have screwed up big time and they have to get the spring from Botch. Meanwhile, Botch has the spring now and is planning the biggest nightmare bomb drop of all times. His vultures have dropped thousands of bombs all over Dim and he has planned to set them all off at once. Alright, this movie is starting to get really bizarre and I can’t tell if it is good or if it is bad.

Ralph and Mum start looking around the frozen world and decide to call on the Fairy Godmother for some extra help. She sends Rod Rescueman to help them out, but he quickly leaves them to go find Flora, who is stuck at Botch’s hideout. Ralph and Mum are now stuck inside of an office building where many nightmare bombs are lying around. One of them goes off and well, chaos ensues as office supplies go insane and attacks them.

They survive the chaos, but they have to deal with the rest of the undetonated bombs. They are call back to Frivoli suddenly by the Fairy Godmother, who fires them for being incompetent as being heroes. Ralph and Mum do not agree with this, so they still continue to help. They arrive at Botch’s fortress and meet up with Rob and Flora, who is ok now. When they are inside, they run into Scuzzbooper, a writer of nightmares, who decides to help them out because he had enough of Botch.

Flora and Rob rescue Greensleeves and manage to destroy Ibor, one of Botch’s minions, while Ralph and Mum confront Botch. They manage to get him to detonate the bombs early, rendering them useless since time has paused. They defeat him and his vultures drag him off. Since they saved everyone, they are recognized as heroes and everybody is happy.

The movie is unique, strange, imaginative, and inventive. The characters are interesting and are voice nicely, besides one of them. Plot is different, but pretty interesting. The soundtrack for the movie is pretty good with orchestral pieces and 80s music. The rest of the movie is hard to explain since it is so random and fast paced. I would have to say this was one of the most interesting movies out there, so if you do come across it, buy it and you’ll probably not regret it.


  1. You could learn more about "Twice Upon A Time" by following the addresses at the end of this message and along the way you will learn that the version of the movie with the profanity is actually an alternate version rather than an "uncut" version.

    Pardon me for the correction, but you spelled Rod's name "Rob" in your plot description shortly after typing the correct name. It was an interesting review, though. Good day!

  2. Here are the addresses again, this time in their full form:

  3. If the addresses don't appear in their full form in your browser (like mine), just copy one of them and the whole address will appear in the address bar once you paste it.